On my post Why Are Millennials So Disillusioned?, there was some great discussion in the comments, and the topic eventually turned to Gen Z. Opinions ranged from feeling they are the best hope for humanity to feeling they are ruthless, ungrateful, and unprepared for the world. As varied as these opinions are, I think there’s a grain a truth in all of them.
Gen Z is the Pluto in Sagittarius and Neptune in Aquarius generation. Without historical context, one would expect this generation to be a group of optimistic (Sagittarius) humanitarians (Aquarius). This is not exactly untrue, but economic and cultural conditions have changed the expression of these signs.
Gen Z has, for all intents and purposes, grown up in a post-apocalyptic world. They grew up with a deep knowledge that the economy, however strong it appears, was not built for their benefit. Social mobility has stalled and social progress appears to be moving backward. Millennials may live with the crushing disappointment of unrealized dreams, but Gen Z never had dreams in the first place. They are, in many ways, a generation of nihilists. And that’s where they find their freedom.
Think about it. If the worst has already happened, what is there to worry about? If there’s no hope of success, there’s no fear of failure. If nothing you do matters, you might as well do what you want.
Bleak? Sure. For some, this really has resulted in a cold ruthlessness. But leave it to Sagittarius/Aquarius to find a way to make the best of it. They are free (Sadge) to live as they wish (Aqua) and build a future (Sadge) that is far more humane (Aqua). And I really believe they will!
This generation is so strong. In the US, these kids can’t even count on staying alive when they go to school, but in the face of that danger they come out swinging. They are idealistic (Sagittarius) activists (Aquarius) who aren’t afraid to fight for what they believe is right.
Wait. Didn’t I just say they are nihilists? And now I say they’re idealistic? Well, yes. Welcome to Aquarian quirk. But really. If the future (Sagittarius) is dead (Pluto), why not dare to dream (Neptune) about something new (Aquarius)?
This generation may just be able to accomplish what no one else has. They might be able to create a revolution that spans the globe. They are already inordinately comfortable with broadcasting (Sagittarius). As much as we may complain about internet shaming and “cancel culture,” what we’re seeing is a generation that has incredible reach and can spur large groups of people into action. Wait until they wield political power. The effects will be awe-inspiring.
And I think they’ll use their power well. Gen Z is, remarkably, extremely kind. This is the generation that created “wholesome memes.” In contrast to millennial irony, they are extremely earnest. They know how dark the world is, and they go out of their way to support each other and appreciate the beauty in life. They embody the best of Sagittarius. And in true Aquarius fashion, they are citizens of the planet. Their memes tend to be about things that are universally relatable. They talk about the feeling you get when you finish a great book and barely know where you are because you were so absorbed in the plot, or about stepping out of your newly-cleaned room, then walking back in to see what it would look like from a stranger’s perspective. They are experts at finding the small things that unite us. In my study of history, one thing that always struck me was that, for most people for most of history, everyday life was shockingly similar. This generation seems to understand that innately.
Does Gen Z have its problems? Of course. Growing up in a world where everything has been destroyed and the people who were tasked with guiding them have given up, they are forced to pave a new path through the wreckage. Some have become cold (Aquarius) ideologues (Sagittarius). But for every one who has succumbed to the fear and pain, there are a hundred more who are bold, empowered, and committed to creating a world far better than the one they were given. Their quirky buoyance can’t be denied. They will rise up and fight for humanity, laughing and joking and connecting the whole way. For all their faults, Gen Z is still the breath of fresh air humanity needs so much. As they grow, look to them to cast aside artificial divisions and calcified structures and build something new, beautiful, and uniquely human. Stand back, because they are coming.
What do you make of Gen Z? How do you think they’ll impact the world?